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WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE

In this issue:

    Featured Items
   
Upcoming Events    
    State Auditors
    State Comptrollers
    State Treasurers

    Also, find out what's happening around the nation! State Headlines
 


FEATURED ITEMS


NASACT MODERNIZES WEBINAR CPE PROCESS, ADDS NEW LOWER RATE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO DON’T NEED CPE CREDIT
 
NASACT recently made a few changes to the process to verify attendance at webinars and request a CPE certificate. We’ve gone from a paper and mail-based system to one that is completely electronic. Read more about the changes.
 
Additionally, we now offer a new lower rate of $25 for individuals who wish to view webinars but do not need a CPE certificate.
 
 
GASB NEWS
 
Member Input Needed on Financial Reporting Model Improvements
 
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board recently issued an Invitation to Comment document entitled Financial Reporting Model Improvements-Governmental Funds. The ITC addresses potential improvements that were initially identified during the research GASB conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing standards. The potential improvements include:
  • Recognition approaches (measurement focus and basis of accounting).
  • Format of the governmental funds statement of resource flows.
  • Specific terminology.
  • Reconciliation to the government-wide statements.
  • For certain recognition approaches, a statement of cash flows.
The project is intended to consider improvements to only selected aspects of the existing financial reporting model. Improvements to other parts of the model are expected to be considered in future due process documents.

The Board has asked for comments on all matters in the ITC and requests that you explain the reasons for your views, including alternatives that you believe should be considered. Where possible, please provide a chapter and paragraph reference for your comments.

GASB has scheduled five public hearings and three user forums. Additionally, NASACT has scheduled a webinar on this topic on this topic on February 23. The ITC can be downloaded from the GASB’s website. The GASB’s deadline for comments is March 31.

Through the Committee on Accounting, Reporting and Auditing, NASACT will be preparing an Association position on the ITC. Please send your comments to Sherri Rowland or Kim O’Ryan no later than Friday, March 3.  
 
 
UPCOMING CONFERENCE CALLS

These calls are open to NASACT members, state staff and invited guests only.

Jan 19, 2:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASACT Uniform Guidance Work Group – Request more info
 
Jan 24, 2:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASACT OPEB Standards Implementation Work Group – Request more info

Jan 25, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
   NSAA HR Information Sharing Group – Request more info
 
Feb 7, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASACT Committee on Accounting, Reporting and Auditing – Request more info

Feb 8, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASC Payroll Information Sharing Group – Request more info
 
Feb 14, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASC Electronic Payments Information Sharing Group - Request more info
 
Feb 15, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
   NASC Travel and P-Card Information Sharing Group – Request more info
 
 
JOB OPENINGS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jan 25 Webinar: Getting Ready for Infrastructure Change
Feb 22  Webinar: Making Analytics Real: Government Case Studies

Feb 23  Webinar: GASB's Financial Reporting Model Improvements
Mar 1  Webinar: GAO's ED, Government Auditing Standards

Mar 15-17 – NASC Annual Conference, Harrisburg, PA
Apr 11 NASACT Training Issues Workshop, Tallahassee, FL
Apr 12-14NASACT Emerging Leaders Conference, Tallahassee, FL
Jun 13-16 –  NSAA Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ
Aug 12-16NASACT Annual Conference, Nashville, TN
Oct 3-6NSAA IT Workshop & Conference, Tacoma, WA
 
Register Now!

 
STATE AUDITORS


EXCELLENCE IN ACCOUNTABILITY AWARDS – NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS & SEEKING JUDGES!
 
The NSAA Excellence in Accountability Awards Committee is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Excellence in Accountability Awards. It is through programs like this one, which recognizes quality government audit efforts, that NSAA remains one of the premier organizations for state auditors.

For more information, view this letter from Greg Hook, chair of the Excellence in Accountability Awards Committee and deputy legislative auditor (MD), which explains the awards program; the guidelines and criteria document; and the entry form.
 
Submissions may be made in three categories: Performance Audit, Forensic Report, and Special Project. After all entries are received, the committee will logically divide the performance audit submissions into large and small sub-categories. Four separate awards will be given.
 
Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, February 24. Award winners will be recognized at the 2017 NSAA Annual Conference in June in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
 
We are also currently seeking volunteers to help in the judging process for the Excellence in Accountability Awards. Judges can be NSAA principals or their designees. If you are interested in assisting, please contact Sherri Rowland.
 
 
PROVIDE YOUR INPUT ON AICPA ED ON PROPOSED REVISED DEFINITIONS OF CLIENT AND ATTEST CLIENT
 
The Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has issued an exposure draft entitled Proposed Revised Definitions of Client and Attest Client as well as Related Definitions, Interpretations, and Other Guidance.
 
In addition to revising the definitions of “Client” and “Attest Client,” there are revisions relating to the consequences of these proposed changes that relate to our government audit organization environment.
 
First, this ED proposes relocating the government audit organization provision that establishes government audit organizations' independence from our government "employers" that currently appears in the “Client” definition to the “Simultaneous Employment or Association With an Attest Entity” definition. Second, the proposed revisions identify circumstances relating to client records and client confidentiality when members simultaneously have a client who is the engaging entity and a different client who is the subject of the engagement. 
 
Through the Audit Standards and Reporting Committee, NSAA will be preparing an association response to this ED. In order to meet the PEEC’s deadline of May 15, please provide your comments for inclusion in NSAA’s response to Sherri Rowland by Wednesday, April 19.
 
 
NSAA 2017 ANNUAL CONFERENCE: PROVIDE YOUR INPUT ON PROGRAM TOPICS
 
The 2017 NSAA Annual Conference is scheduled for June 14-16 (Wednesday through Friday), 2017, at Bally’s Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To assist in developing a quality and informative program for this conference, Program Committee Chair Stephen Eells (NJ) is requesting your input. 
 
We have developed a survey listing several suggested general topics and potential discussion items within each category. Please rank the survey topics in order of interest or add your topic ideas. We are also seeking speaker recommendations. Suggested speakers could include yourself, a member of your staff or someone else you have seen present.
 
The survey should be completed no later than Friday, January 20, 2017.  Questions may be directed to Sherri Rowland.
 

NEW MEMBERS
 
Connecticut

State Senator Robert J. Kane has been nominated to become one of two state auditors in Connecticut. Sen. Kane is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University, and he earned an M.B.A. from the University of New Haven in 2009. He would replace Robert Ward, who retired earlier this year. His confirmation is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
 


STATE COMPTROLLERS


TECHNICAL INQUIRES
 
The following technical inquiry is out for comment – please share your feedback! Didn’t get the email? Contact Kim O’Ryan:

  • HSA Accounts with Refunds Crossing Calendar Years

 
BENCHMARKING PROGRAM
 
NASACT's Benchmarking Program offers services in four areas: Financial Management, Information Technology, Human Resources/Payroll and Procurement.  The program allows states to compare themselves to other states and private sector companies.  It also allows comparisons of agencies within the state to each other and to agencies within other states. Benchmark-related consulting services are also available through the program. To find out more, contact Kim O’Ryan.
 

NEW MEMBERS
 
Indiana

Indiana Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb recently announced that he has chosen GOP Allen County auditor Tera Klutz to be the next state auditor. Klutz will be the first certified public accountant to be Indiana state auditor (comptroller function). Holcomb, a Republican, needed to choose a new state auditor because current Auditor Suzanne Crouch was elected as Holcomb’s running mate to be lieutenant governor. Klutz will be sworn in on Jan. 9.
 
South Dakota

Liza Clark is the new commissioner of South Dakota’s Bureau of Financial Management. She replaces Jason Dilges. Jim Terwilliger is deputy commissioner.
 


STATE TREASURERS


2017 NAST LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE – HOTEL CUT-OFF: JANUARY 10

Registration for the 2017 NAST Legislative Conference, to be held February 12-14 in Washington, DC, is open. Learn more.

 


STATE HEADLINES

 

ARIZONA
 
Eloy Elementary School District—Theft and Misuse of Public Monies
Press Release
 
During the Auditor General’s fiscal year 2015 performance audit of the District, the audit found payroll anomalies revealing that from August 2013 through January 2016, Denise Burden, former payroll clerk, may have violated state laws related to theft, misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes, and forgery when she paid herself unauthorized overtime totaling $23,504 and prepared documents containing her supervisors’ forged signatures 18 times…
 
 
CALIFORNIA
 
Calif. Auditor Blasts Delay, Price of Accounting Software Overhaul
Courthouse News Service
 
The California State Auditor on Thursday slammed the state over a software project intended to streamline the state’s outdated accounting and procurement methods, citing implementation delays and a $237 million cost overrun…
 
 
ILLINOIS
 
Checking in: After a year on the job, Mautino talks life as auditor general
The News Tribune
 
It was nearly a year ago when Frank Mautino, a Democratic state representative from Spring Valley, took over as Illinois’ Auditor General. He replaced the outgoing William Holland and he’s the first person from the Illinois Valley to hold a constitutional office in Illinois since the 1950s, when Latham Castle of Sandwich served as the Illinois Attorney General…
 
 
MARYLAND
 
Daily Fantasy Sports Now Regulated in Md. to Ensure Fairness, Protect Consumers
Press Release
 
With daily fantasy sports games drawing in hundreds of thousands of Marylanders, regulations took effect Monday, January 2, to help ensure the games are fair and that winners pay appropriate Maryland taxes. “Daily online fantasy sports games have a significant presence in Maryland,” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said. “It is entirely appropriate that we enforce basic rules to ensure the games are fair, anti-competitive abuses are declared out of bounds, and appropriate taxes are paid.”…
 
 
MISSOURI
 
Auditor Galloway identifies concerns with operations of higher education incentive program
Press Release
 
State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a review of performance funding for Missouri public higher education. The program is intended to create incentives for improvement or sustainment of excellence by awarding additional funding based on specific performance measures. The audit found the Department of Higher Education does not provide adequate guidance and oversight on program operations or measurements. Incomplete guidelines and unclear definitions leave colleges and universities on their own to figure out how to best measure their success, allowing them to interpret results differently when reporting information to the department…
 
 
NEW JERSEY
 
State Auditor Stephen Eells releases three new audits
 
The following reports were recently issued by the State Auditor’s office:
 
Department of Education Administration
 
Department of the Treasury: Division of Pensions and Benefits, Health Benefits Programs − Member Eligibility
 
Department of the Treasury: Contributory Group Life Insurance Program
 
 
OKLAHOMA
 
Nine county assessor offices fail state audit
Tulsa World
 
Pushed by tougher auditing procedures, nearly all of the state’s county assessor offices are now complying with property valuation rules and processes, but it could be years before it results in higher tax revenues, officials said. A recent state Tax Commission Equalization Performance Audit noted that while the number of counties passing the audit had increased since the previous review, nine counties’ offices — all in southeastern Oklahoma — remain out of compliance…
 
 
WASHINGTON DC
 
Audit: Improvements needed in DC's protection of personal information
Press Release
 
The primary finding of the report is that D.C. is not doing everything it can to protect the personally identifiable information (PII)—Social Security Numbers, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name—that it collects and stores, leaving the sensitive personal information of millions of people vulnerable to security breaches…
 
 
OTHER NEWS
 
Trump to nominate Wall Street lawyer Clayton to lead SEC
Reuters
 
President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he intends to nominate Walter "Jay" Clayton, an attorney who advises clients on major Wall Street deals, to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During the height of the 2008 financial crisis, Clayton worked on major deals involving big banks, including Barclays Capital's acquisition of Lehman Brothers' assets, the sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase, and the U.S. Treasury Department's capital investment in Goldman Sachs, according to his law firm's website…
 
13 Issues for States to Watch in 2017
Governing Magazine
 
Just when states’ fiscal pictures were starting to look good after a slow recovery from the Great Recession, state budgets have begun to show signs of trouble again…
 
5 Hot Topics Hitting Public Finance in 2017
Governing Magazine
 
In what could be a tumultuous year for state and local finances, these five issues are likely to take center stage…
 
 
Copyright © 2017 National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, All rights reserved.


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